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Could B Corps Become The Next Business Designation in NC?

Earth Equity Advisors is proud to be ranked in the top 10 percent of B Corps in the world by B Labs. There are 2,100 B Corps worldwide. However, we’re only one of 37 B Corp companies in the state of North Carolina. Pete Krull sat down to speak with Stephanie Carson at Public News Service about the positive impact of Benefit Corporations and Representative Chuck McGrady’s new bill that proposes legal designation for B Corps.

Excerpt:

Benefit Corporations – commonly known as B Corps – are growing in popularity in North Carolina and beyond. Certified by the non-profit, B Lab, the designation indicates that a company has met rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. 

While increasingly recognized as a viable business model, B Corps aren’t yet recognized by the state as a business designation.

Rep. Chuck McGrady of Henderson County is sponsoring a bill that would change that.

“It functions a lot like a regular corporation, but it just allows people to designate a public purpose, sort of add a dimension to what they’re doing in their business,” he says. “It can be very attractive to investors. It is very attractive to this new class of entrepreneurs.”

Read the full article here

Tips to Travel the Eco-Friendly Way

For many people, travel is a necessity whether for business or vacation and relaxation, and for some, it’s a bucket list. But the impact of travel can change the very world we’re trying to explore. Here are several ways to experience all this planet has to offer without leaving a giant carbon footprint in your wake.

1. Hire an eco-travel agent.

Travel agents know all the ins and outs of popular destinations, and whether your trip’s focus is business or pleasure, it’s handy to have an expert on your side. An eco-friendly agent will know the best places to stay near the center of all the fun so you can enjoy environmentally green accommodations, attractions within walking distance, and can experience local crafts and foods. It’s maximum impact on your trip with minimum impact on the planet.

2. Stay in a green building.

With modern engineering advancements, hotels and resorts all over the world are able to provide comfort while maintaining environmentally friendly imprints. From the simple—not having the hotel staff wash your sheets and towels every day—to the sublime such as solar heaters that create ambiance as well as heat, an eco-conscious hotel can help you enjoy everything about a travel destination without the waste.

3. Rideshare.

If you have a meeting in 15 minutes three blocks away, walking might not be the best solution. Check with your hotel or your company to see if they do rideshares. Whether the hotel offers them for guests going shopping or sightseeing, or your company can arrange it, sharing a ride is more comfortable than public transportation and more eco friendly than a rental car or taxi.

4. Walk where you can.

By choosing a hotel in the center of everything, you can strap on your walking shoes and find anything you need. The added benefit is seeing and exploring more. Whizzing by a line of shops in a taxi isn’t the same as window shopping, and who knows? You just might find that perfect souvenir.

5. Check into locally owned and fair wage accommodations.

One of the gems of a great vacation is finding unique and beautiful places to stay. What if you could stay in a beautiful beachfront house yards from the water, or that mountain chalet where nobody will bother your solitude and peace? How about a trendy condo in the heart of the action? Locally owned property rentals may be just the thing, and entrusting your hotel budget with locals all but ensures the money you spend goes to support the local economy. Not to mention, there are some beautiful places off the beaten path that could be just the thing for an unforgettable stay.

6. Eat locally and buy locally.

Restaurants can provide some of the best memories of your trip, from that unforgettable appetizer and the melt-in-your-mouth dessert. Smaller, local restaurants please not only your palate, but feed the local economy in return. Locally grown produce is fresher and cuts down on pollution with less transport. Why are all the best seafood restaurants right on the coasts? Because fresh is best, and local food not only gives you a taste of how others live but can help keep local businesses going for the long haul. Staying local can keep your taste buds singing for the duration of your trip.

Local craftsman are also important for keeping a trip environmentally friendly. Purchasing direct from the artist is rewarding in an increasingly mass-market world. In this way, you can ensure your money is helping to sustain the local economy. You can also ask questions direct of the artist. Was the coral for that necklace obtained from areas where coral is being harvested to protect the natural ecosystem? Are the materials for this key chain not part of a poaching industry? Is that bracelet carved from renewable materials? The more you know, the more comfortable you can be about what your money supports, and often, the artist themselves can be a great source of information about the pieces you buy. It’s more personal and translates to a great story when you return home.

7. Hire a local guide to see the sights.

A local guide can show you the secrets of an area, the treasures not always on the same beaten path other tourists walk. They can help you overcome language barriers and steer you clear of any not-so-safe neighborhoods. If you’re on limited time, a local guide can maximize how you spend it and you can make specific requests of them for environmentally friendly places to stay, eat, and shop. If you’re more into nature, they can share expert knowledge of plant and animal life an untrained guide could not. In short, a local tour guide can take the guesswork out of eco-travel.

Now you can plan a year of new adventures, vacations and exploration–without a huge environmental impact.

How Climate Change Will Greatly Impact the Global Economy

Recently, Schroders Economics Group released its Climate Change Survey 2016, which supplemented its report on The Impact of Climate Change on the Global Economy. Schroders sent the survey to 18 investment banks and brokerage firms, and received five responses, all of which stated that global warming presents an “Extremely Significant” or “Significant” threat to the global economy in the current century. Several negative effects are expected, most notably inflationary pressures.

Implications for Everyone:

As a result of global warming, prices of several goods and services are expected to increase. Food and water prices will increase due to reduced output per worker, agricultural production, and healthy water supply.

As oceans continue to rise and low lying areas are submerged, reduced land availability and mass migration will increase the cost of land.

Energy costs will increase as more extreme temperatures increase heating and cooling costs.

Insurance costs are already increasing and will continue to rise. Payouts from extreme weather events such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy have hurt companies’ profits and they are reacting accordingly. For example, in Gulf Coast states, flood insurance costs for customers have risen significantly.

Implications for Investors:

Several academic studies provide various estimates of annual losses in GDP in the current century due to global warming. However, most investment analysts do not account for these losses in their forecasting models. One assumption investment analysts make when estimating a company’s performance is that the company will continue operating and growing into perpetuity. Without accounting for the estimated losses in companies’ growth prospects due to climate change, analysts’ current company valuations may be overestimated.

Companies’ equity stock will decrease due to the added costs to repair damage to property and infrastructure. Consequently, equity investors will suffer losses.

Debt investors will suffer due to increased inflation because the purchasing power of fixed coupon payments is reduced as inflation increases.

Moving Forward…What Can We Do?

Shareholders can use their voting power to encourage the Board of Directors to align managers’ compensation with long-term, climate change mitigating goals.

In order to provide more accurate fundamental data for investors, investment analysts must start incorporating the economic effects of climate change into their forecasting models.

Many economists agree that a government policy incorporating a carbon pricing or carbon credit trading model will reduce carbon emissions. These policies properly reallocate external spillover costs back to the companies (i.e. companies pay for the negative environmental and health effects we as individuals incur).

The Bigger Picture

Because analysts view individual companies as “going concerns” that will exist into perpetuity, they are not alarmed when companies make large capital expenditures now, with the expectation that cash returns will exceed the initial up-front cost. Likewise, the earth is a “going concern” and will exist into perpetuity. Therefore, governments can also make large capital expenditures now and expect to receive cash returns in excess of the initial cost.

Alternatively, the future cost of not investing in climate change mitigation may be much higher than the savings today.